fyre: (Films 2012)
[personal profile] fyre
#1 - Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.

I'm a little undecided about it, on the whole. I like it as an over-the-top action film, but I'm not sure I like it as a Holmes film. RDJ was immensely watchable as always, and I'm never going to say no to Noomi Rapace, but I found my attention wandering at points.

On the whole, there was simply too much blowing things up and slow-motion action. Personally, I would have been a lot happier to see more of the machinations, and the cunning planning and less of the frenzied running around with fire and shrapnel. I know the first film had its share of explosions and such, but this felt so much more cluttered and rushed.

In the first film, you have confrontations like the one with Coward - pure exposition, but still with Sherlock doing his thing and being brilliant while Coward monologues. I felt this was replacing moments like that with "look what we can blow up and how!"

Moriarty was well-cast, and the actor played it in a very understated way, only showing how dangerous he could be at sporadic moments. I can safely say the meathook scene is not one I would like to sit through again in a hurry.

I think it's telling that my favourite scene of the film was the climax, particularly when both men are playing mental chess, while facing off on the balcony above the waterfall. (And yes, I squeed at the sight of the waterfall) Their final not-fight, as they weighed one another up, was so perfectly done. See, Ritchie? You can do it well - two men, equals, in a confrontation of minds rather than bodies. That was when it felt truly Holmesian to me.

Jude Law was... Watson-ish again. Somehow, I didn't like him as much in this film as the first one, which puzzled me a little. Stephen Fry was okay, though really, I prefer Gatiss in the TV modernisation.

Noomi and the girl who played Mary both had very little to do, although I do like that Mary can lay a little bit of a smackdown when the moment calls for it. Noomi's knife-throwing, palm-reading gypsy was interesting, though a bit of a messy character. After all the butt-kicking she did in the beginning, it's frustrating that she didn't just go up to her brother and punch him in the head to stop him, rather than doing puppy-eyes and begging.

Also, Irene. Poor Irene. What a disappointingly mundane way to get her out of the way.

For the most part, it felt like the film was just rushing from action scene to action scene, and I will freely admit I was yawning throughout the chase in the forest. There needs to be a balance of what is necessary explodiness and what just slows everything down, even without the slow-motion camerawork.

So, in summary, it's a decent action film, but on the whole, it doesn't really feel like a Holmes film to me.
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